Grand Theft

Criminal Lawyer

A person is guilty of theft if the state can prove two elements. First, the State has to prove that the defendant knowingly and unlawfully obtained, used, or attempted to obtain or to use the property of the victim. Second, the Defendant did so with intent to, either temporarily or permanently, deprive the victim of their right to the property, or to appropriate the property of the victim for the use of the Defendant or someone else not entitled to the property. A theft becomes grand theft if the value of the property is more than $300.

The theft of a motor vehicle, a firearm, a farm animal, a fire extinguisher, a stop sign, 2,000 pieces of fruit, and anything from a construction site is automatically grand theft, regardless of the value of the stolen items.

Although normally if someone steals something worth less than $300 it is a misdemeanor, if the property is worth $100 or more but less than $300, it is grand theft if taken from a dwelling or from the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling. So if an item is stolen from a person's home or yard and it is worth only $100, the crime is grand theft, although the same item stolen from a store would be only petit theft.


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Grand theft is a third degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. However, if the value of the property taken was $20,000 or more, the theft becomes a second degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. If the value of the property taken was $100,000 or more, the theft becomes a first degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

The law doesn't require the State to prove an intent to steal, only an intent to "obtain or use." To "obtains or use" means any manner of taking or exercising control over property, or any unauthorized use, disposition, or transfer of property. It also includes the obtaining of property by fraud, willful misrepresentation of a future act, or false promise.Conduct previously known as stealing; larceny;

purloining; abstracting; embezzlement; misapplication; misappropriation; conversion; or obtaining money or property by false pretenses, fraud, deception; or other conduct similar in nature, are all actions covered under the Grand Theft statute.

A person can be convicted of both theft of property and of services. "Services" means anything of value resulting from a person's physical or mental labor

or skill, or from the use, possession, or presence of property. This includes theft of repairs or improvements to property, professional services, private, public or government communication, transportation, power, water, or sanitation services, lodging accommodations, and theft of admissions to places of exhibition or entertainment.

The value of the stolen property or services is a fact

that needs to be proven by the State at trial because the value determines whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a first, second, or third degree felony. "Value" is the fair market value of the property at the time and place of the offense, or if that value cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the offense. It is not the value of a brand new item.

The value of the stolen property or services is a fact that needs to be proven by the State at trial because the value determines whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a first, second, or third degree felony. "Value" is the fair market value of the property at the time and place of the offense, or if that value cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the

offense. It is not the value of a brand new item.

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is at stake, don't make the mistake of hiring a criminal lawyer who isn't recognized by the Florida Bar as a specialist in criminal law. Instead, hire a criminal attorney who is Board Certified.

If you need a criminal lawyer because you are charged with grand theft in Clearwater, New Port Richey, or somewhere else in the Tampa Bay area, don't hesitate to call an experienced board certified criminal defense

attorney. We offer Free Consultations and individually suited Payment Plans.